Todd Glass Comedy Bar, Toronto ON, May 25

Todd Glass Comedy Bar, Toronto ON, May 25
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Even if you didn't look at the marquee as you walked in, you could tell that Todd Glass was performing at Comedy Bar. The observational alternative comedian is obsessed with the idea of creating the perfect club atmosphere, so he transformed the whole venue before anybody arrived: blocked out all the sunlight with black fabric, put candles everywhere, and put up a red curtain behind him on stage. On top of that, he also got a live two-piece band to play throughout his show, put blue gels over some of the lights, and without hesitation told the people outside of the theatre to be quiet so their noise wouldn't distract from the performance.
 
Given how meticulous he is about the setting of his show, you might expect Glass to be equally calculated in his comedy, but he was often very laidback, loose, and improvisational. Sometimes that casual style was delightful, such as when he sang a song about the audience that included such generic phrases as "And you have nice hair, and you're over there, and you're over there," then joked that the crowd must have been amazed that he could do that. Other times, he sometimes indulged in easy ideas to the point that they became old, such as when he got the band to back up his material with the same song over and over at his whim.
 
Glass also performed some planned material that was more consistent. His joke about disliking people who smoke weed while working ended with a very funny comparison, and his observations about not doing well in school and having no real ambitions as a kid were self-deprecatingly comical. In addition, his bit about getting in a car accident with a food truck featured a hilariously quick succession of solid quips, as did his closer about what you can use a Shamwow for. Having said that, the Shamwow closer didn't work as well as the food truck material because it was a very familiar old bit for Glass fans, and the show had been stretched out for too long.
 
Openers Courtney Gilmour and Mark Forward were both dependably at the top of their game. Gilmour made everyone laugh by brutally joking that she was missing her hands because she's an abortion survivor, plus she did a clever new joke about her cat having better medication than she does. Forward then killed with undeniably great one-liners about animals at the top of his set, then he launched into his classic Forward-style angry yet absurd ranting that elicited rolling laughter.